Who Is Father’s Day About?
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 15. (Who am I kidding? It’s men who forget days like this, right? All mothers already know that it’s Sunday, and probably already have a handmade card and craft all prepared.) Therefore, like most mass-marketed so-called “greeting card” holidays, we are, as consumers, literally inundated with “best gifts for dad” lists and advertisements. These lists have prompted several dad bloggers that I read on a regular basis to write posts in response.
Some of the dads are stay-at-home dads (SAHD) and others are (like me) dads who work outside the home. However, the majority of them say they want the same thing for Father’s Day: time away from their kids and their wife, a couple of hours to themselves. (Most also mention some sort of private activity with their wives once the kids are asleep. Since this is a G-rated site, I will leave it to the reader to determine what exactly that is.)
I find myself in strong disagreement with this position (the time alone, not the private/wife time). While perhaps a SAHD wants a “break” from his normal day, and the dads with jobs outside the home want some at-home time without the kids, Father’s Day is not the day to do this. As strange as it may sound, Father’s Day is not about fathers; it’s about children (and perhaps mothers) celebrating their fathers.
Kids love parties. They love any day that they can “make special”. So, telling them that a particular day is set aside for them to make their daddy feel special, and then telling them that they can’t spend that day with their daddy makes no sense to them. They want to show their daddy how much they love him, how much they appreciate him, how special he is to them. They can’t do that if daddy is downtown at the used record store or in the garage with a beer and the baseball game on the radio.
If I need time to myself to decompress, or just recharge my proverbial batteries, I do it another night. Doing it on Father’s Day isn’t fair to your kids, who want to celebrate their father.
For the dads: do you feel the best gift you can receive on Father’s Day is alone time? If so, why? If not, what is the best gift? For the moms: what are your thoughts on this? Did you want alone time for Mother’s Day?
You can read more SciFi Dad at Tales From The Dad Side.